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Ping-Pong Problem-Solving STEAM Challenge

By: Tina Shaffer

This week, we’re testing kids’ creative engineering and problem-solving skills with the theme of Ping-Pong balls (which are fairly inexpensive). Have them challenge their friends to see who can earn the most points!

Challenge: Build a structure with a base inside of a taped square to hold a Ping-Pong ball cantilevered as far as possible from the taped square.

Setup: On the floor, use masking tape to create a 12in x 12in square.

Materials: 6 straws, 6 index cards, 6 inches of masking tape, 3 paper clips, 3 feet of string, 1 Ping-Pong ball, 1 pair of scissors
*The scissors may not be damaged and may not be used as part of the solution

Time: 8 minutes

Scoring:
A. 4 points for every inch of cantilever of the Ping-Pong ball from the taped square (Up to 80 points max)
B. Up to 20 points for the creativity of your structure
C. Up to 20 points for how well your group works together

 

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